Couple claim they can’t afford heating system

A young family are living with no heating or hot water due to an expensive system installed in their ‘affordable’ home

A YOUNG couple living in affordable housing have been forced to boil the kettle every time they need hot water after being financially drained by a state-of-the-art heating system.

William and Lynsey Yeo say they have been living with no heating or hot water after having to turn off an air source heat pump installed in their brand new Bideford home.

Mr Yeo, who works night shifts as a security guard at North Devon District Hospital, said the family’s energy bills rocketed using the new system: “This was supposed to be affordable housing, but we found some weeks we were paying more than �50 a week on the electric meter.

“We have had countless problems; the system has been replaced three or four times and we constantly have engineers in the house.

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“The heating also comes on by itself if the temperature outside goes below minus two degrees and will stay on until it rises above that temperature, which could be all day and night when winter hits.

“We have now ended up turning the whole system off because we can’t have hot water without the heating coming on full blast, and vice-versa, so we are making do with a kettle and small gas heater in the lounge.”

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Mr and Mrs Yeo are paying around �700 a year on bills, more than double the �328 a year estimate on the house’s energy performance certificate.

The couple want to be able to provide a hassle-free and warm home for Mrs Yeo’s 10-year-old son Connor who lives with them and Mr Yeo’s son, Oliver, aged five, who often comes to stay.

Tarka Housing Association, which is responsible for managing the property at The Salterns, built by developers Cavanna Homes, has offered the couple compensation and agreed to investigate the system thoroughly over a six-week period.

A spokesperson at Tarka Housing said: “Until a meeting this week, we were not actually aware that Mr Yeo had been re-pressurising the system himself every four to six weeks. He had not realised it was not standard practice and therefore had not told us.

“Now we are aware, we have now arranged for a RES (Renewable Energy Solutions) engineer to visit him on Friday to address this issue and investigate the cause of the need to re-pressurise.

“If there is shown to be an issue after that exploratory work then we have offered to send RES there again to conduct an energy audit on the air source heat pump and check the cost of creating the heat against the units of heat it produces.”

Mr Yeo said: “We don’t want to sound ungrateful, because for social housing we have been given an amazing opportunity with a brand new property.

“But we want the problem to be sorted. Since the meeting with Tarka we feel a little better.”

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